Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Good-bye Suwanee :(


The time has come.. I am leaving my baby area!! I am headed off to Sandy Plains in the Marrietta zone which is the farthest west in our mission. I haven't heard much about the area other than the fact that the ward is on fire and they are teaching a lot. I don't know whether to feel super excited or super sad. I've been an emotional wreck for days ever since Sister H got her training call which meant that I was for sure outta there. So I've been preparing for a few days. Also... I chopped off my hair. Haha I know, typical sister missionary move. Getting bored with her hair, but I feel like now is the time I can try whatever I want because I don't have anyone I'm trying to impress.. right? Lol. 

This week was the longest week of my life. Not gonna lie. It snowed like crazy here and everyone was freaking out and it was nuts here in good ol' Georgia. Wednesday president said don't go out unless its safe... So Sista H and I took that as we could go out because we are both used to snow. So we left the apartment at like noon after calling a bunch of people and got home at like 7. Turns out that we were one of the only missionaries that went out. Hahaha. It was a super hard day but I look back on it and I was really glad we did end up going out because we saw SO many miracles. There was one point in the day that we were tracting and Sister H and I just started bawling because we had no idea what to do and it was freezing and everyone who would open the door was like "Girls why are you outside?" and then just slam the door in our faces. Ugh. It sucked. But too many miracles!! 

So we ran into this less active randomly on the street when we were walking to a member's house. He was like you gals should come over sometime. So we looked up his address in our ward book and went over the next day and it turns out that he did not live there. So just as we were walking down the steps getting ready to leave the apartment building we ran into him and set up a return appointment. If the timing would've been even two minutes earlier or two minutes later we would've missed him!! Also one night we were walking home for the night we ran into this lady named Brenda who was taking her dog out. Turns out that Sister George and I had met her a couple months back and we helped her bring her groceries up to her apartment and she wasn't interested in the gospel then. She told Sista H and I that she wanted to take the lessons and we met with her the next day. It BLOWS MY MIND how Heavenly Father's timing works. Ahhh I love it!

Debbie... was a lost cause this week. Neither Sister Galt or we could get in contact with her all week. She probably left the country again but I am just praying she gets home before Wednesday so I can say goodbye to her. MARSHA on the other hand.. GOLDEN investigator. LOVE her!! We had 3 lessons with her this week. On one of them she had pulled out the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the concordance (this huge Bible Dictionary) and was studying for like hours. She came to church on Sunday too and the Relief Society was on the Plan of Salvation and she kept telling us how she got the feeling that everything our religion taught seemed familiar to her. #chaching We are going to put her on date on Tuesday and she pretty much will get baptized at the beginning of March. No big deal. Right after I leave. 

Kathy is doing amazing. She is very open about how she reads the Book of Mormon guarded and so we pretty much have to break down her wall, brick by brick and just love her. She does have the desire to find out if the Book of Mormon is true and keeps consistently reading every day. She came to all three hours of church even when she is terrified of small groups and I am so proud of her. She calls me Sister Knightly because I remind her of Audrey Hepburn.. haha. I love Kathy and I'm going to miss her like crazy. Sister Watkins is positive she will get baptized, its just a matter of when. Maybe it will be after my mission so I can come back to Suwanee and see it? Who knows. It's in God's hands. 

We have like 3 new solid investigators this week too!! One is named Hyacinth, she is from Jamaica and she is a author and she is a seeker because she loves and admires Martin Luther and he was a seeker. Her lesson was stellar this week. Also this lady named Kristen and she has an adorable daughter. And then we finally got in with the Lockridges which is a part member family and he agreed to take the lessons!! We have been trying all transfer long to get in with them too!!! 

So many good things are happening here in Suwanee, just as I am leaving. We have finally been able to get in contact with a lot of our potentials and we had 9 LIMPS this week, which NEVER happens. That's almost like UGA status which is like what Sister Heyland is used to.The first week of the transfer we only had 2 LIMPS. But I know that I am leaving now for a reason and I can look back on my time here in Suwanee with no regrets because I left Suwanee better than I found it. I am just so excited for Sister Heyland and her new baby to baptize nations here!! Ward conference is in mid March and so many of our members already have friends and neighbors that they are going to invite. Can I get a yeehaw?! 

New Do!

1st Transfer

Hello from Sandy Plains! 

All I can really say about this area... it is nothing like Suwanee and I can already tell I have A LOT of work to do here. Over half the ward is less active and it is a small ward but I am trying not to compare it to Suwanee because I already know that I was trained in Zion and there are very few wards in Georgia that are like that. So I guess this is the norm. I really am excited to be here though because it just means that I will get to make a huge difference! It is a beautiful area though! Marietta is a town right outside of Atlanta on a mountain (its actually a hill but Georgian's don't know what a real mountain looks like) and our apartment has an amazing view of the city! It's gorgeous and on the plus side, our apartment has two bathrooms :) Sister Sorenson is from Idaho Falls, ha. I wonder how many more companions I'll have from Idaho! It's cool though because she knows Holli and a couple other of my friends from Utah State. It's a small world in the Mormon church! 

I'm already in love with a couple people in particular in the ward. Sister Williams is a thug convert who joined a couple years ago. She gave up her old life of making 3 grand a day selling drugs to celebrity rappers and is so happy in the church. She knows Usher, 50 Cent and Snoop Dog etc and told me to go convert them. I'd be down! The other is Evril and she is a less active YSA from Kenya who makes bomb food. She is such a strong woman and has gone through so much in her life and I just admire her! 

Lady and Arnold are the only investigators we really have and neither are progressing much but I got to meet both this week. Lady is from Mexico and speaks super good English and has the two most adorable girls in the world who have stolen my heart. Arnold is an old southern man who dresses in camo, hunts, etc. the whole stereotype of a souther rug rat. He is great though and we are working on building his relationship with god. 

Not much really happened this week though. Since I got here, we have been working on our area map a ton which is a complete foreign concept to me! Sisters have only been here since the end of last summer and they weren't so organized and neat with the area book and the map so we are just starting from scratch. I found out that Quinton L. Cook is coming to our mission this next month and rumor has it that we are getting ipads and will become a Facebook mission. I heard the plan is to make all the states missions Facebook missions by the end of the year, which is exciting I guess. I personally don't really want to be on fb but oh well. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Out on the town

Feb. 10, 2014 Book of Mormon Musical duty


What a wonderful week! I know for sure that when I look back on my mission, this will be one of the highlighted weeks for sure. Going to Atlanta was INSANE and I was surprised how quickly it took to get there from Suwanee. Atlanta looks a lot like Seattle and the weather was actually in our favor. We got there around 6 pm with the Sister Training Leaders from Coal Mountain ward, Sister Kelly and Sister Papbst. We were given 20 copies of the Book of Mormon to split between companionships and 300 mormon.org cards and there were 4 companionships there; two from our mission and two from the Atlanta mission. A sea of people flooded into the Fox theater on the busy streets before and after the musical and practically all I could yell is "The Book is true! Read it for yourself! The book is always better than the movie!" Teehee. We had quite a lot of fun with it. We had to split up on the streets because there were so many people. I participated in a prayer circle with two hobos, convinced an atheist to consider that there was a god, got filmed in a documentary on Atlanta's entertainment, and had so many other awesome contacts that were SO prepared! 

It was very spiritually challenging as well because you would get people that would take pass along cards from you and spit on them or throw them to the ground or say a storm of cuss words about Jesus Christ, the prophet and The Book of Mormon. Sister Heyland and I talked about our experience afterwards and discussed how we literally felt like we were in front of the Great and Spacious Building, clinging to the iron rod. It was cool because during intermission, you would catch the ones that left the musical because they were offended (the elect) and afterwards, people would just walk up to you and ask for a book or ask to take a picture with you in front of the musical poster. Haha. All in all, it was such an amazing experience, I got the contacting dream of a lifetime and all I can do is hope that those I planted a seed with will act and a baptism will come out of it. 

We had the COOLEST miracle on Monday. We found a FAMILY that was SUPER ELECT and so ready for the Gospel and.... they are Spanish. We thought the mother knew more english than she led on and when we took Sister Holgado to our first lesson, she was the only one that could communicate effectively with them. So we passed them off to the Spanish Elders and they are supposed to follow up on how their lessons go. We had two lessons with them and at the end of our last, Carlos (the father) said the most heart felt prayer in espanol and I could only catch some of the words that I understood, but I could feel the conviction in his voice and I KNEW right then that he would be baptized. It was the most sincere prayer I had heard so far on my mission. 

Friday and Saturday I went to Coal Mountain on exchange and we went to their ward council meeting Saturday morning and one of their ward's elders graduated from Kamiakin!! haha. Small world, right? I taught the restoration 5 times within the two days I was there and my favorite was with this lady and her 3 small autistic boys that are all under the age of 6. I was especially amazed that when we knelt down for prayer at the end of the lesson, all 3 of them knelt down quietly with us. #sotender #meltedmyheart 

When I was gone, I missed our lessons with Kathy and Marsha but they went really well. Marsha is taking seriously reading the Book of Mormon and Kathy committed to coming for ALL 3 hours of church!! Well, we texted her Sunday morning and she told us she was still planning on coming. When Sister Watkins got to church, she told us that Kathy had practically begged her to go but Sister Watkins told her to stay home because she was super sick. At least she now has the desire, right? She started her new job at Vallue Village this week and she said that a couple of her coworkers asked if she was mormon (even though she is not, and they had no idea that her mom was mormon). I would say that's a work in progress! :) 

Debbie Debbie Debbie... we didn't hear from her AT ALL this week and I was so confused and broken hearted to why she would just dump us like that with no notice. We tried and tried again to drop in on her at home but we didn't get anything. We tried one last time Saturday night at 8:30 pm because we didn't have much else to do before we had to be in at 9; and she was HOME!! She was eating dinner with Zane and told us that all week she had been crazy busy with real estate and she felt really bad that she could never get back to us. We invited both her and Zane to church and...... THEY CAME!!!!! Sacrament meeting was perfect and the speakers talked about faith, repentance, and Matt 11:28-30. It was exactly what they both needed especially because Zane had always questioned why we never use Bible references to anything. 

Jan. 27, 2014

My Dearest Family!

This week was an interesting week with all sorts of the highest highs and the lowest of lows. I don't know what it is, but everyone and their dog is canceling their scheduled appointments on us. I feel really bad because Sister Watkins and Sister Galt have been stood up with us at leason six times each, no lie. Because we didn't have a lot of people to teach.. lots and lots of tracting it was! It also snowed this week so we had to endure the week outside in the bitter cold pretty much every single day. I guess Heavenly Father is trying to teach me patience and perseverance, idk. Sister Heyland lost her voice in the middle of the week and she is still getting over it and so I have been in the lead with the teaching and talking and everything. Man, being the leader wears you out ;) Even though we didn't have many opportunities to have lessons, we saw a lot of miracles from our long hours of treacherous tracting. 

Thursday we had an appointment with a former investigator named Sam. We got to her place and her daughter came out and told us she was sick and sleeping. So we decided to tract the apartment complex. It was kind of a small complex and we did the first half of the place and Sister Heyland wanted to leave. She gets really antsy when she feels like we aren't using our time very effectively, but I had a strong feeling that we needed to stay and keep going. The first door we knocked in the second half of the complex, the lady told us to open the door and come in. He name was Ruth and she was laying sick on the couch with her grand-daughter. She recognized what church we were from and told us about her experience with going to a mormon church once in Alabama and said she loved it! We taught her the first lesson and she was very receptive, so hopefully that turns into something! 

Friday we had a lesson with a former's brother at his house. His name is Boy and he is Sister Ketchem's neighbor, so she came with us. Sister Ketchum and Boy were both Phillipino so a lot of the time they were speaking to each other in Tagalog and it was kind of awkward. We tried to slide in the Restoration but every time we would try, Sister Ketchum would shut us down and tell us that Boy was not ready for this kind of commitment in our church yet. She did share her conversion story with him though, which is one of the best conversion stories ever, and that brought the spirit. Its so important to have the members at the lessons but sometimes its frustrating, because they think that missionaries are too bold or shouldn't be teaching what we are teaching, but we have the authority to discern what to teach each individual! We are supposed to be bold but loving, in order to help people keep their commitments and testify with the spirit. Boy is going to read his Catholic Bible first before he dives into the Book of Mormon, but at least we planted a seed, right? 

We may or may not have gotten kicked out of the Walmart parking lot on Saturday. It was probably our third or fourth time trying to contact in the parking lot and it was really busy on Saturday so we figured it would be successful. After a little over an hour of contacting, these two Walmart managers walked out and were stalking behind us for at least five or six different contacts. Sister Heyland noticed that they were behind us and told us to bolt for the car because we didn't want to get kicked out. Unfortunately they caught up to us and told us to show them our soliciting licenses. I may have kicked in a little sass and was about to show them my minister's certificate, but Sister Heyland said that we thought we were allowed to, that we were sorry, and we left. Too bad Walmart contacting only lasted for so long. I love Walmart contacting. Its super awkwardly fun! 

Saturday night was the adult session of Stake Conference and President Wolfert told us to be there because the theme was "Hastening the Work." It was awesome and much needed. The members of our ward are so willing to help us out by feeding us or going on team ups and what not, but when it comes to refferals, they could use some improving. President gave a talk and basically threw down on the stake that we should be teaching in members homes every single night in order to fulfill our purpose here as missionaries. Sister Watkins shared her conversion story too and she was super nervous, but did so well! If you've never heard it, you need to call her and ask her about it. After the adult conference, the Billiter family told us that they had a family for us to teach this next week and this random lady came up to us and gave us this referral in our apartment complex. Yeah yeah yeah! 

Sunday morning was regional stake conference and it was broadcasted from the Orlando, Florida stake center. They said it was being shown to 48 stake centers throughout Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, and I guess it didn't really occur to me that there are that many mormons in the south! We heard an amazing talk by Russell M. Nelson about renewing our covenants weekly and recommiting to do better and try harder each week. He talked about not running faster than we have strength to, but remaining to live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and following those promptings with more precision and diligence. He also spoke of how we need to be more precise and specific in our prayers when praying for missionary opportunities. It was exactly what I needed to hear and I received so much inspiration during that talk. Sister Heyland and I went home for lunch and decided that we were going to pray specifically to have someone baptized on February 15th, the Saturday before transfers. Sister Heyland won't let me leave Suwanee without us having a baptism together, so we are going to work our butts off! 

We were pretty pumped to go out and tract Sunday afternoon. We both had an awesome personal and companionship study that morning as well as great spiritual enrichment from stake conference. I was on fire and I just wanted to to sing out loud "We are All Enlisted" from door to door. After about an hour we tracted into this lady named Barbra who was SO PREPARED. All week long I had prayed that I would specifically be able to recognize right up front that a person was elect and ready to hear the gospel. She almost didn't let us in because she told us that her 22 year old autistic son was running around fully naked... but then she got him under control. #awkward ha. We kind of gave her an intro to the first lesson and she explained that she was just about to dig further into her religion, but this was a sign from God. I threw a soft baptismal invite after commiting her to read the Book of Mormon and she said yesss!!! AHHHH!!! I think that after we teach her a little bit more about baptism and give her the rest of the first lesson, we will pick a date for her. #dowork

We had an appointment with Clara scheduled on Sunday but her boss made her stay at work late. We decided that we are going to be super bold with people this week and every single day we are going to commit at least one person to baptism. Tonight we are planning on Kathy and Wednesday we are planning on Ed... so i have no idea who in the world we are going to invite the rest of the days, but I have the faith that the Lord will give us opportunities if it goes according to his will of course. 

"And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it speaketh of Jesus and persuadeth them to believe in him, and endure to the end." -2 Nephi 33:4. 

New comp - Sis Heyland

New comp


It took me long enough but I FINALLY feel like a real missionary. hahaha. Sister Heyland is AWESOME (its spelled Heyland but pronounced Highland). We are so similar that it is scary... She loves to travel and she's been all over the ward too, we have a ton of the same tendencies, we are both ditzes and have a love for food. Which is great because now I don't feel like a fattie because I eat a ton. The only thing is that she talks like she is on speed so I feel like I have to try and keep up with her when we are talking. Haha, I make it a game though and so it is fun. She came from the University of Georgia campus and so she is used to riding bikes and only contacting so I basically had to teach her how to tract and drive a car. Too much fun. 

The first day she got here, the Elders needed the car and so we biked to a neighborhood to tract.. good grief. Biking was so much fun, yet quite an adventure. There are no sidewalks in Georgia so we had to bike on the shoulder of the road right up close to all the cars. We biked down Peachtree Industrial which is the highway you take to get to Atlanta and it was super windy too. Lets just say, half the time my skirt was over my head. I tried everything I could to hold my skirt down or to step on it, I was laughing so hard that I was crying. Craziest experience of my life. Next time I will be sure to bring clothes pins or actually wear shorts under my skirt, I was wearing black tights though so it wasn't as bad as it could've been... 

Sister Heyland and I were sick of tracting one day so we went to the Walmart parking lot one day and tried contacting. People would run away from us and ignore us, it was hilarious. Contacting was sooo awkward yet so much fun at the same time. We got some pretty good potentials out of it so hopefully we'll see things start to pick up as far as teaching goes. We're both pretty excited for this transfer, we are going to see a ton of miracles and baptize nations. Get ready for it. 

So we had a lesson with Debbie finally and it went super amazing. She had us over for lunch with just her and we were on a role, talking about and testifying of the Book of Mormon (which is something I'm pretty pro at ;)) the spirit was so strong and we were all crying and we were about to invite her to be baptized when... Zane walked in the door. #spiritkiller - We invited them to come to church but Zane just went on this tangent about how they are going to keep going to the church that got them put together. I just wanted to yell at him "Don't make her decisions for her!!" Before we left though, Debbie pulled me aside and whispered in my ear and told me that she was going to do everything in her power to try and make it to church on Sunday. Zane said that if it rained on Sunday, they would try and go; but if it was sunny they had stuff to do outside. Lamest excuse, I know right? Anyways, we were praying and praying for rain and texted Debbie Saturday night to see if we could plan on her coming. She told us she is coming to church with us the next Sunday, so hopefully that works out! 

Basically we are just focusing our efforts on finding investigators. We are having a ward missionary meeting this week trying to brainstorm creative ways to find so if you have any ideas, shoot em this way. We were thinking about teaching english to koreans to see if that would work but I'm not sure how effective that would be. We dropped Michael and Britney and I was super sad to but I will drop by and pay a visit before I leave Suwanee when I do. Julie and Wess aren't our investigators anymore either. We tried to stop by and nobody answered and when we left, Wess called us and had a pretty nasty conversation with us; telling us to never come back. So all we have is Debbie at the moment and we are going to try and meet with Kiaundra this week. I have the feeling we won't be meeting with Kiaundra for very much longer because Sister Heyland doesn't want to meet with anyone we aren't teaching because its a waste of time. She got here and was super shocked how "casual" we were with our ward members.. which doesn't make sense to me because aren't you supposed to have good relationships with your ward members? We can never get out of a meeting with members in under an hour because they talk for forever and plus I like to get to know them.. so I'm at a loss of what to do. I'm just going to role with it and try my best to do everything in under an hour.. exact obedience is key as a missionary and I'm learning that. It difficult to get into the hang of things though because Sister George did some things differently. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thanksgiving with the Makenna Fam!

1st Thanksgiving in Georgia


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know it may have been hard being in England, but you'll look back and remember it as a memorable Thanksgiving! I am excited to share a Thanksgiving the Knight way in England... in a couple years from now :) My Thanksgiving was wonderful! We volunteered at a soup kitchen that was about 30 minutes outside of our area. We were so excited when we got permission from Sister Wolfert to go. We went with the Mckenna family who has a daughter out on a mission right now in Rome, Italy. I absolutely adore the Mckenna family. They are crazy and hilarious. Sister Mckenna had her parents from Texas over and her brother from London, so it was really fun to talk to him about England. At the first half of our volunteer time, we were in charge of parking cars. We had a good time being goofballs and waving cars around the parking lot with our hips. Sis Mckenna taught us how to play hopscotch and Sis George and I were sore from hopping around on one foot in skirts. Too much fun. 

We ate Thanksgiving lunch at the Soup Kitchen and I had so many wonderful opportunities to talk to people who were struggling and could totally use the light of the gospel in their lives. There was a single mother in particular that I grew to love in the space of 30 minutes who was sitting alone in a corner. She had actually looked into the church before but she didn't ever come to church because she found out that us mormons don't drink coffee. I gave her the Word of Wisdom lesson in 1 minute and promised that she would have a wonderful spiritual experience if she would just go to church. Here's to hoping!! We went back over to the Mckenna's house afterwards and played a wonderful game of Quelf. That made me super excited because we used to go over to Jakes house all the time in high school to play Quelf. It is a game where you basically do things to make you look stupid and for some reason I kept getting the cards that required me to do things that would be restricted in a skirt. 

After our time with the Mckenna's, we went to President Galt's home (the one who used to be our old bishop and his wife is a ward missionary who sends you pictures from her phone from time to time). They had their daughter and her family in from Florida and Theresa and her family over. I don't remember whether or not I told you about Theresa but a few weeks ago she just randomly stopped into church looking for help. She is the Elder's investigator but we were able to clear up some of her questions for her. She is still really weirded out by baptisms for the dead and she thinks that the bishop's storehouse food is cursed so she won't eat it. Some of the things I hear about people's views on mormons on a daily basis are just skewed. I was really super excited because Sister Galt's daughter from Florida brought her two yorkies and I got to play with them. Everyone in Georgia has a dog but I haven't came across anyone with a yorkie yet so I was happy. By the way, did you bring Lucy back home with you? We then went to the Olson's home and she is the seminary teacher for our stake. Bro Olson updates us with stuff on the Aggies and we had a good time hanging out with them for the rest of the evening. 

Not too much happened this week, really. We were taken out for dinner to an Italian resteraunt on Tuesday with two empty nesters and Sister Fullwood took us to Red Lobster on Wednesday evening for dinner. We were supposed to have dinner with our ward mission leader, Bro Pickett on Wednesday evening but his wife had her baby. I ordered a platter of Lobster and Snow Crab and Sister Fullwood taught me how to break open the shell and get messy with my food. We had a blast and I got to hold a real live lobster. Hey, you're gonna get foreign foods in the states too! ;) Sweet Sister Fullwood then took us on a mini shopping spree for cold weather accessories because it was FREEZING on Wednesday. She insisted because her only daughter doesn't live at home anymore and she misses being able to spoil her, hey I can't complain! ;) 

We did service for Sister Watkins on Friday and we helped her make-over her guest bedroom. She is having an old sister missionary and her dad come for a week and she wanted to make it look good. We then made a 3D skeleton cake for the Elders for their dinner with the Watkins. Since transfers were Wednesday, Elder Hales from Utah is new to Suwanee and Elder Howell left to the real country of North Georgia, Fort Yargo. They borrowed our car to go to an appointment and sure enough when they returned the car; the seat backs were backwards and pushed all the way forward, the emergency break and the window wipers were on, and the bike rack was upside down. Goodness, the Elders in this mission are huge flirts! 

We didn't end up meeting with Michael and Britney this week but we had a really good lesson with Ben last night and he came to all 3 hours of church!! Casey is having a really hard time right now so she didn't end up coming to church or to the lesson. We went over the baptismal interview questions with Ben and he really opened up about his feelings. He is feeling angry about everything in his life and he said that Casey is blaming God for taking her mom away. There whole situation breaks my heart and it broke my heart even more to hear Ben finally open up on how his wife committed suicide.. lets just say, you really don't want to know. Brother Adams talked Ben through his frustrations and we were able to clear up a few things that Ben had a hard time with. We watched President Monson's April 2012 General Conference Talk on how Obedience Brings Blessings and you could definitely tell that the spirit was there. I shared Mosiah 24 on how Alma's people were being persecuted for praying. Even though they went through some difficult trials, they continued to pray and the Lord eased the burdens that were put upon their backs. He continued to be with them as they faced their afflictions and they were strengthened because of it. 

Well the lesson went really well because we committed Ben to a date! He is on date for January 4th and this time he was really enthusiastic about it! He was especially happy when we told him that if he was baptized before Casey, then he could baptize her after he received the priesthood. I think that's probably how the situation will turn out but we will keep praying for Casey to be ready as well. We really know Ben is progressing because Ben opened up how he doesn't think they should blame God for the death of his wife. He told us that it was the adversary working against her and that is the only reason it led to her death. I hope he convince Casey of this because I know that will bring her comfort. 

I was really impressed on the places we picked to go tracting in this week. Everyone in the neighborhoods we picked were SO nice. There was not one person that accepted our message but one lady gave us water, another lady gave us huge hugs and wanted to know our whole life stories, practically everyone sincerely thanked us for what we were doing. There was one guy who opened the door and said "It's the Mormons! I've been waiting for you guys to come back, come on in!" His name was Todd and apparently he had been meeting with the missionaries for a few years. He was on business trip in Utah and had picked up a Book of Mormon in a Marriott hotel in Salt Lake City. He definitely had different beliefs but surprisingly, he just wanted to sit and have a discussion. He asked us insane questions like "If everyone has a chance to make it into heaven, then why is there so many different religions on earth?" All I can tell you was that our answers were definitely inspired because we walked out of his home trying to remember what we had said to him. I still can't even remember. It amazes how the Spirit prompts missionaries exactly what to say to benefit the needs of those who we are talking to. 

Okay so the big miracle of the week... Not this last Friday but the Friday before, we were planning for our week and we were really struggling on our lessons with investigators. We don't have as many now because we aren't teaching Kiaundra or Richard anymore and we were trying to figure out where we could find people to teach. We decided that we should pray specifically for a family to teach. We went waaayy on specifics because we prayed for a mom, a dad, one son and one daughter. I'm not gonna lie, I was rolling my eyes a little bit and wondering if Heavenly Father really could help us achieve this goal, but I decided to have faith... because why not? In my life, I've never really had specific answers to my prayers answered but I prayed and prayed for this family and did all I could to be as obedient as possible and work as hard as I could. 

I did feel a little-bit pile-ish this week because we had so many appointments with members and less actives. On Saturday we went to go visit a less active family, the Carlisles. When we got out of our lesson, we decided that we better go visit a less active man, Bro Wilson who lived in the same neighborhood. Sister George and her trainer Sister Carrigan had tried to visit him a few times before but he was never home. When we walked up to the door, a man came out with his dog before we could knock. He seemed really enthusiastic to have a visitor at the house and he introduced himself as Wess. We asked him if Reed Wilson was there and we learned that he had moved a few months ago. We decided to share the message with him and we gave him an invite to the Christmas devotional at the church and he mentioned for his wife Julie to come out. They were really interested and said that they had been looking for a church to go to ever since they moved here. Julie expressed that she really wanted to stop smoking and so we told her about the Chruch's 7 day program guarenteed. Julie then got really excited and said, "When can we start meeting with you guys?" She told us about her 7 year old daughter and her 4 year old son and then it clicked, THIS IS THE FAMILY WE'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR!! A straight shot answer from Heavenly Father himself, and I knew it. This family is so prepared and that just strengthened my faith that Heavenly Father CAN answer specific prayers. We are crossing our fingers and praying that this family truly is sincere and we will be able to teach them! 

Just like Uchtdorf said in his last conference talk, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Heavenly Father first has to test our patience and our faith to see if we act on what we have been commanded to do or what we are struggling with etc. If we do act and have that sincere desire to draw closer to him, he will make weak things strong unto us and bless our lives tremendously. There is without a doubt that I KNOW that this church is true. If you don't know if this church is true, find it out for yourself! I think sometimes that it is hard for us to remember that we have to be patient with Heavenly Father and know that everything is working out on his time. He tests our patience because then our humility can grow and our faith increases.

1st B-day pics

First B-day in the mish!

Hey y'all! 

Thank you so much for the Christmas/Birthday package! I have to say the best part of the whole package was the letters from the kids. Ethans little drawings made me cry in front of everyone. Haha. This week has been mad crazy! During the holidays, missionary work as far as teaching people drops but then all the members ask you to do everything for them. I'm pretty positive we wore jeans most of the week because we did so much service. 

So my 21st birthday on the mission. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Sorry mom, it even beats the birthday that you took me to Chuck E Cheese with my best friends. I wouldn't have wanted to spend it anywhere else, (I love you guys and I love England, but Suwanee, GA is where it's at ;)) I spent the first half of my birthday in Cumming, GA on exchange with Sister Pabpst who is the newest STL in our zone. She sang me happy birthday and was going to make me birthday cake waffles but she found out she didn't have any ingredients when she thought she did... oh well, it's the thought that counts and plus, we ate chocolate so that made up for it ;)

When we exchanged back, Sister George took me back to the apartment and had my desk all decorated up. She got me one of those snap bracelets that I loved in the 90's and it made my day. To celebrate my 21st birthday she got me a huge margarita glass filled with recess peanut butter cups, she knows me too well :) We danced around the apartment wearing our princess crowns and my birthday girl sash. I swear I'm 2 all over again. We went to the Folkman's for dinner and Sis Folkman made this heavenly chicken (almost as good as dad's tregar chicken) and chocolate cheese cake. We then went to the Mckenna's afterwards for the party. Sis Mckenna made me a cake that said "Happy Birthday Sista K" and we got to open our Christmas presents early since Sister Mckenna will be in Texas for Christmas. She got me a play dough set because one time when we went over to make cookies, I couldn't stop playing with the cookie dough. It has a roller and animal shape cutters and everything. We then went back to the apartment and the elders showed up with milkshakes and lit me a birthday candle and sang to me. I didn't think much was going to happen on my birthday but Sis George had it all planned out, she's awesome. I don't think this birthday will top my next birthday out in the mission field but we'll see ;) 

Thursday was the Mission Christmas Party. We went early to pick up our NEW 2014 Ford Fusion that was long over-due. They expire the mission vehicles when they hit 50 thousand miles and our Coralla was at 54 thousand. We were bummed because Elder Resadori told us we were going to get a white one, but when we got there, he had already given it to another set of sisters. So we got a silver one. It kind of looks like a grandma car but we are sister missionaries. We have to dress like grandmas so it's all okay. At the party we had dinner, there was a slideshow of pictures, and a talent show. Pretty much the whole talent show was piano numbers. Haha. The Lilburn zone of sisters hula danced though and they had a bunch of polynesian elders chant while they did it. There was one district who did a skit about a distinct bird and it was probably one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Haha. 

Friday we helped Marni wrap her Christmas presents and she took us to Moe's afterwards (the substitute for Cafe Rio here in Georgia). The Ketchum's had us over for dinner and they invited the Brinton's, who is a young family in the ward. Sis Brinton's less active brother and his girlfriend from the Phillipines were in town so they came over to eat as well and we taught them a lesson. Since Sis Ketchum is from the Phillipines too, we had the traditional Phillipine meal. We had this super yummy chicken curry dish, shrimp and pork egg rolls and rice. It was super yummy and we learned how to eat the way they do, using a fork to scoop your bite into the spoon. 

Sister Hamilton and Sister George had a lesson with Ben on the Word of Wisdom on Tuesday while I was in Cumming with Sister Pabpst. They had it with the Watkins and apparently it got a little crazy. Bro and Sis Watkins believe that ALL caffeine is harmful to the body so they told Ben that he couldn't drink any soda but Sprite and Root Beer. No no no! Haha. Of course Ben accepted the lesson because he is elect but we had to clear up the errors in our lesson with him on Friday. We only have a week and a half until Ben's baptism and counting! He is super excited and I love seeing him grow in his faith more and more each week. He basically sails through every single lesson we have with him now. 

On Sunday we went over to the Clark's after church and helped them get together Secret Santa for the Watkins. The Watkins are so giving to everyone in the ward and they never accept any service for them and so we were super excited to help out. They got Bro Watkins a Gift Card to Home Depot because he loves to fix things up and Sis Watkins got a couple different kinds of crock pots. We took all the stuff over to the Watkins afterwards and just walked in and set the presents under Sis Watkin's halloween tree (mom, the next time you talk to Sister Watkins, ask her to tell you her wedding story). The look on their faces were priceless and they demanded to know who had given them all this stuff. Of course Santa's little elves don't get to say who Santa is :) 

Let's face it, numbers went down the drain this week and we didn't have too many over the top awesome experiences, but this week got me into the spirit of Christmas and it was so much fun to help others out and experience those who I've grown to love already in the space of 3 months give me a birthday to remember. For the longest time, Sister George and I kept saying that it didn't feel like Christmas because there was no snow on the ground and we weren't caught up in all the craziness of Christmas shopping and what not. As a missionary, you almost get to be the viewers of this big movie and see others love and give to one another and you really feel the Spirit of Christmas more than ever before. Of course we participate in the service as well but it was awesome to see the big picture of things.

My First Baptism!

Jan. 6, 2014 Ben's Baptism!

Hola familia! 

It seems like you've had a great holiday! I absolutely loved seeing the pictures and that's so cool that you got to see Fireworks going off in London. That is definitely on my bucket list, but it's too cold to be outside in the winter in England, haha. It's too cold to be outside over here in Georgia for that matter. We woke up this morning and it was snowing! It hasn't snowed in 3 years and they were just little snow flusters but it is windy and super cold and the chill just bites at you, kind of like in England. Darn humidity. 

So... I'M STAYING IN SUWANEE! HOLLA! I basically already knew it. The middle of last week, I kneeled down to ask if I was being transferred or if I was going spanish because I was super impatient and just wanted to find out. I had a really good feeling about staying in Suwanee because I know my work here isn't done. We have a few people to follow up on this week and so it would kill me to leave. Also, I'm not spanish speaking. Nor do I think I will switch to Spanish speaking, because I also had the feeling that I am staying English speaking. There are too many different races of people I need to talk to down here so the Lord basically told me I'm not speaking spanish on my mission. But I don't mind, I love it. My new companera is Sister Highland and she is Canadian. Sister George has been in Suwanee for 6 months which is abnormal for a missionary so she is headed directly west to Hickory Flat. The Assistants called us this morning and told us and we both just cried. We've had way too much fun the last couple weeks, but I'm super excited because I hear that Sister Highland is a super hard worker. Suwanee is just going to rise higher and higher and we will see even more miracles in the next 6 weeks!! 

K so Ben's baptism, most amazing experience of my life. Without a doubt, I could hear angels singing in heaven and I could only imagine his sweet wife's joy up in heaven. His cousin flew in from California and she was the sweetest most spiritual lady I've ever met. She gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and everyone was just amazed. Everyone kept saying that was the most spiritual baptism that they had ever been to, and it was definitely the most spiritual baptism I had ever been to. I was filled with so much joy!!! Casey was there and she kept saying how good her dad looked in white. When Ben came up out of the water he was grinning from ear to ear and he raised his hands up in the year and hollared. hahaha I don't think it was the most appropriate thing to do at a baptism but man, was he happy. I'm so proud of him and he gave us the sweetest card about how we changed his life and gave him hope for the future. Man, I'm on fire. I'm gonna baptize all of Georgia now ;) 

We weren't quite sure at the beginning of the week if Ben was going to get baptized this weekend. Ben had his baptismal interview on Tuesday with our district leader Elder Kilmer and he didn't pass. We don't know why, nor was it our business to know but we were really worried because Sister George figured that she would be out this transfer and she had to be here for Ben's baptism because we taught him together!! Our first lesson with Ben was my first day. We helped him on his journey together while he helped me on mine. Man, it's still super weird that I am done training but I am so happy to be. 

Ben had his second interview with President Joiner on Thursday who is in the mission presidency. He had us join him in the beginning of the interview and we got to tell Ben the changes we had seen in him throughout his teaching process and Ben got to tell us what he had felt while being taught and how our teaching went. It was such an awesome experience because this doesn't normally happen that people get a second interview, and I'm glad it happened. While we were exchanging our thoughts before he interviewed Ben, peace came to my heart and I knew that everything was going to be okay. If Ben didn't get baptized this weekend, he would eventually in the near future get baptized because he was ready; I knew it and Heavenly Father knew it. Of course he passed the second interview because he got baptized and he told us why he knew he was meant to be here and meant to be on this path. It was an amazing and touching story and I would rather not share something so personal to him but all I know was that I was overwhelmed by the spirit, I was so happy for Ben to be here and I knew that Heavenly Father had sent me to teach him for a reason. 

New Years Eve wasn't anything too exciting. We went to a members house for dinner and she gave us these dress and jacket combinations from the 80s with shoulder pads and everything because they were "too fancy" to give to Good Will. I have no idea what I am going to do with mine but I will have to send a picture. It's absolutely hideous hahahaha. We went over to our ward mission leader's house, Brother Pickett, who had all his family in from Florida to play games. When we got there we found out that the elders were in the emergency room. Elder Rahman's knee practically blew up like a balloon randomly but he tore his acl before his mission. He might have to go home if he finds out from the orthopedic that he has to have surgery. 

I love the gospel with all my heart and I'm now on a spiritual high after having Ben baptized this week. I'm motivated to get out there and testify to everyone of the restoration of the gospel! We are going to see a lot of miracles within the next 6 weeks in Suwanee and I'm pumped to be here in the south at such an exciting time for missionary work! 

Have a fabulous week! Keep up that missionary work ;) 

Sister Knight